Parents Leave Terri’s Little Pumpkins Day Care Despite Owner’s Fight To Keep Facility Open

MEDFORD (CBS) — The owner of the daycare franchise Terri’s Little Pumpkins is trying to keep her Medford location open while she fights a move by the state to revoke her license.

In a letter to parents obtained by WBZ-TV Terri Bettano apologized to parents for “recent negative publicity” and urged them to stay. But parent Junior Therencial has already found another day care.

“After reading about it I was a little shocked, a little shocked. I wasn’t expecting anything like that.”

The state has stopped funding the childcare vouchers Bettano relies on to help fund her business, forcing her to close three other locations in Chelsea, Somerville and Revere due to numerous violations. One of those violations is late payments to employees. Lisa Dwyer, a former assistant director at TLP’s Somerville location, says payments were not only late but the checks often bounced.

“A lot of us are living paycheck to paycheck. Can’t do that if you expect a check on Friday and don’t get it until Monday,” said Dwyer.

The daycare’s financial problems go beyond not just losing state funding. WBZ-TV also obtained documents revealing Bettano’s own financial difficulties. She faces four federal tax liens and owes more than $200,000. The state says it was never informed of the “significant tax lien” which is another violation. Bettano has also been cited for inadequate staffing and supplies for children, and an inspection of her Revere location revealed dead rodents in the kitchen area.

Junior Therenciel thought it best to say goodbye today.

“Just how everything was carried out, how they handled the situation,” she said.

More from Beth Germano

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